MOROTO – Parents in Moroto district are conniving with suspects to frustrate defilement cases in exchange for bride price, officials have reported.
The officials are concerned that many girls have been forced into unwanted marriages as many cases remained undocumented because parents prefer to settle such matters with the suspects and their families.
In this case, when parents discover their daughters have reached puberty, they force them into marriages, irrespective of age or choice of husband – as long as the component of number of animals involved is settled.
William Lochodo – the Moroto district, Senior Probation and Welfare Officer narrated how poverty was misleading parents to settle for small bribes from suspected defilers to destroy evidence as victims are denied justice.
According to Lochodo, the practice has frustrated his office’s effort to have the suspects punished because they commit crimes and use the money to convince parents to conceal the information.
Lochodo noted that tracing defilement cases had become hard because parents were uncooperative in sharing the information.
“We only receive cases of defilement when the suspects have failed to negotiate with the parents of the victim and by the time they come to us – the suspect would have already taken off, and tracing them becomes a challenge,” said Lochodo during an interview.
Joseph Onyang – the Katikekile sub-county Chief noted that there was a need to embark on sensitising the community – particularly engaging them about the values of educating the girl child in society.
Onyang revealed that it was only schools that could save young girls from being forced into marriage because the culture had existed for a long time.
Michael Longole – the Mt Moroto regional police spokesperson acknowledged that child sexual-related offences were rampant in 2022. He said police registered 162 cases of defilement in the Mt Moroto region.
Longole observed that in the month of August, the defilement cases had reduced to two but surprisingly shot up to 26 and 27 for September and October, respectively. He pledged that authorities would continue hunting for the perpetrators of such crimes and ensure that they were dealt with, conclusively.